I continued to hurt till we had the fight.
“Saral…Plzzzz my school mates want to see Us…..just for this they arranged small get together….”
“But you only went last month for get together with them…” he argued back
“I said Us Saral!!”
Ohhhhh!! What difference will my presence make? What will I do there?”
“what do you do when you meet your fellow builders and investors and clients?” I asked
“I discuss business with them, Radhu” He replied
“So now, in order to meet you my friends will have to invest in your projects..buy your property!” I was going on different tangent. I knew he didn’t mean this at all…but I had been frustrated with Saral’s lack of attention towards me…And I didn’t want him to ignore my surroundings.
“Is that what you think?” saral asked in frustration from other side of Phone…
It took me a moment to realize that I might have gone too far..
“I’m sorry…” I said but made it clear that my apology didn’t change my accusation.
“Radhu….” Saral softened his voice and said “ I will get bored….”
“what if I say the same when you take me to your business parties….” I said. That I was hurt showed in my eyes and the tears that flowed.
Saral didn’t have an answer. I didn’t wait for him to respond either. I disconnected the call.And he didn’t call back.
I went to pack my gym bag and left early..
I caught Arjun on the treadmill. In his light grey vest and gym shorts, he was busy doing the warm up jog. My mood brightened immediately. I put aside my negative thoughts from my fight with Saral. There was an unoccupied treadmill next to his. I walked fast to grab it, before someone else took it first. Treadmills are the busiest machines in any gym.
“Hiii!!!” I said adjusting my sipper on the dashboard panel ahead of me.
“Oh hello!” Arjun said looking at me. I immediately felt warm and secure with him.
“We are working out together, right?” I reminded him.
“Of course we are! Seven minutes of warm up and then stretching….” He advised me
“yup…” I said as I pressed the speed button on the treadmill and began my brisk walking.
I was so glad that I had things to do when all was not okay in my life…Arjun by my side and us exercising together…..so……
And then there was an awkward moment…in my hurry to grab the treadmill I hadn’t noticed the LCD panel above me… this one was tuned into FTV, Fashion TV!..in this gym, no TV repeated any other channel- they were all on diverse range of channel..in spite of having option to change,no one on treadmill ever tried to change the channel…besides, the news and business channels anyway ran the breaking news and English movie channels showed subtitles.
The LCD above my treadmill was designed for FTV. I had so far always avoided taking this treadmill. Even though many members didn’t have any issues with it, certain shows on this channel made me uncomfortable when I watched with everyone around. But then today, in hurry, I had made my choice.
A model in a satin bikini was rolling over in the wet sand on the sea beach. She was surrounded by a crew that held light reflectors, right beside her stood make-up artist. The fashion photographer shot her in various seductive poses. At one point the photographer rushed to her and adjusted the strap of her bra. From over her right shoulder he had pulled it down on to her shoulder. Embarrassed by the scene, I shifted my eyes from the LCD to the dashboard panel of my treadmill.
Oh Goddd!! I have to pretend I wasn’t watching any of it!!
The world behind me would be watching me watch this photo-shoot of almost naked women posing..i was petrified at the thought. My eyes were glued to the changing timer on the treadmill panel. I wanted power to go off.
At that moment, all I wanted was not to look at the LCD screen. And I ended up doing the exact opposite. It just like when you asked not to think about elephants for the next minute all you do is think about elephants. The more I tried not to look at the screen, the more I did. Has the photoshoot ended? Is there ad break that has momentarily halted the demonstration of a lingerie model soaked in seawater and smeared sand? How is she managing to look so ruggedly s*xy?
HOOHHHH!! What am I doing? Why am I not able to keep my eyes on the dashboard?
And then I thought i would talk to Arjun, so that I could turn my mind off the goddamn TV! The moment I turned my head towards him, I was taken aback. Arjun’s eyes were glued on the LCD in front of me and he was watching the FTV shoot! Without any guilt! I quickly shifted my eyes back on to the dashboard of my treadmill!!
God!! Men will be Men!!
For some weird reason, the idea of Arjun watching that photo-shoot, bothered me..On the dark glass panel wall installed, I sneaked a look at the shadowy mirror image of Arjun. Indeed his head tilted towards the screen in front of me. From corner of my eyes I looked at Arjun’s TV. The news channel on it had run into ad break. There was image of Arjun I had on my mind. I chose to safely believe that it was only due to ad break that he shifted his attention on my screen.
But I was wrong, about three minute of brisk walking was left. The news was back on Arjun’s screen but his eyes were still on my screen.
Something in me wanted Arjun not to spoil my image of him. Perhaps, not for his sake, but my own. I didn’t want to change channel or didn’t wanted to shift to another treadmill..it would have shown my discomfort obvious..then I thought of interfering..
I made my mind to confront Arjun….Of all of the people, I don’t want him as the person who wasn’t sensitive enough about my presence and discomfort.
“ARJUN…” I said bit sharply
He shifted his gaze from the TV panel to me as he said “Yes?”
“ what is so interesting about this channel?” I indicated at the screen in front of me, I couldn’t believe I just said that.
Arjun looked at me agape, trying to find out what I meant..and then for a moment he looked back at that almost naked model draped in wet sand, the froth-laden salty waves washing the sand off her body. And then he hit his forehead with the palm of his hand. The next moment he looked at me, he was smiling and shaking his head in disbelief..he had whispered the word “unbelievable!!!”
I wanted him to say something more..to react to it…to talk to me…but he choose to dismiss the idea. He smiled and shifted his focus on the dashboard of his machine and increased the speed.
“Last one minute of Warm up left!!!” he announced as he picked up his speed.
His reaction bothered me enough to increase my speed even though I wasn’t supposed to. My meaningless action meant something to me… by now I had forgotten Saral, our argument shifted in back of my mind. I was thinking of Arjun who had turned his head to take note of my speed and yet to choose not to say anything. I wasn’t demonstrating against Arjun’s dismissal of my question but I was wondering that somewhere I ended up showing my conservative mindset in liberal, high tech gym…. And about what I was insecure?
Whatever it was I tried to forget it as soon as I stepped off the treadmill and went to stretch my muscles.
Arjun brought a pair of dumbbells’ of different weights and bosu ball.
“Ma’am , today we will do HIIT” Arjun had only begun when I cut him short.
“HIIT?” I asked
“High intensity interval training..we will do circuit of four exercise with only the transitional break involved.after finishing the fourth exercise we will take a break..we will do three such circuit…okay?”
“Okay” I said pulling my hair in ponytail as my head was soaked in sweat.
He then named the exercise. Fifteen reps of dumbbell swing, twenty slams if battle ropes, twenty each leg mountain climb on bosu ball and finally fifteen ech side wood chop on resistance rube.
“ so do we do this together? Like the same time?” I asked
“yes..now there here is the fun part” Arjun began
I wanted to know how he was going to make it interesting like other day.
“we will do this as a team..okay?”
I had a fair idea but I wanted him to explain. I watched his body language as he spoke. How excited his face has become, how much dedication reflected in his eyes!!
“ this equipment…the bosu ball…the resistance tube..these dumbulls ..all of them belongs to our opponent team…”
I wondered I heard him right..Radz..you fool pay attention..this time is not to concentrate on him but task…..i scolded myself
“To finish the all circuit in record time is our mission…if we give up in the middle or finish it beyond the record time..we will lose to their team..you get that?”
This guy could literally turn non-living entities into living being and make them belong to team..and humans compete with them….
He continued to speak “we will do alternately…first you will do it and the moment you finish I will start…”
Just like the any other day my couch made the exercise pretty adventures and exciting for me.i wanted to make him proud, first time we are in a team…I was all motivated to give my 100 %.
“the only one difference we gonna have that I am gonna use double size dumbbells than you…” he said pointing 20 kg dumbbells. Mine was 10 kg.
“Besides my goal on the bosu, heavy rope and resistance tube are also double that of yours..you must count when I do for I will count yours” he said with a smile on his face.
It’s a day to prove and be worthy of the faith your trainer has put in you….I was full excited and motivated.
Coincidental to it, just when we are about to begin, the soundtrack changed. And to our delight it was the Jean Cena theme track- Arjun’s favourite!! He had told me about this is in the initial days of our training..
“I can lift this entire stack of weight listening this track…” he had said making me do pulley push down to the moment song began.
“oh…it’s my favorite number…” I could see it in his eyes
“yess..i know,..remember you told me?”
He smiled and nodded
“Leverage the power of music to motivate yourself…” he would often say “ leverage your anger, if any…learn to channelize it in your exercise..leverage the mirrors in the gym to look yourself and see a better you in it…” he also told me that he wore vest , instead of t-shirt during workout…so that he can see a lot of his muscles in the mirror..”selfmotivation..” he said.I agreed with him.
After all, he looked his super best in his vests, revealing his traps muscles over his collarbone and rock-like shoulder.
On that particular day, he added something else to this list of leveraging things from one surroundings.
“Leverage the glimpse of an attractive body of an FTV model. Not every look is suggestive. Admire the attractiveness of a well-maintained body. Derive motivation, if you can….” He said and reclaimed his previous image in my mind. He didn’t offend me but very easily conveyed his point. Yet I felt embarrassed of my old-school perspective about certain things.
Even though, initial. I wasn’t big fan of all the English tracks that were played in the gym, over a period of time, I started liking them. It was the only time of the day I was in the midst of loud and peppy music that boosted everyone’s morale. At one point I got so used to the gym’s playlist that as soon as one track ended, my mind knew the next one by default. Arjun or I, and at times both of us, would sing the tune before it began. We were right most of the times…
So how’s this????? I too like that John Cena’s theme track….
In nect chapter we gonna se who wins the battle..Dunmbells, bosu ball and resistance tube or our Aradhika…More fun is coming….
About that Ftv show..lol..i was laughing when I wrote this….it was fun na???
So stay tuned!!!
Love you loads!!!